Friday, February 5, 2016

Diabetes is the Leading Cause of...??

"QUESTION: How many of you believe that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations?
FACT: Diabetes is NOT the leading cause!!!
POORLY CONTROLLED DIABETES is the leading cause.
If your initial answer was "Yes", this might lift a weight from your shoulders. If you have good control, you would be no more likely to have those complications than a non diabetic."
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The above message was given by Riva Greenberg during her interview ontudiabetes.org. She talked to us and answered questions on Friday, Feb 1, 2015. Riva is a dynamic speaker, and she was well received by the group listening that day.
I think this implies that complications are caused by the diabetics who do not take good care of themselves, rather than being caused by the disease. I have some disagreement with the message. The message certainly says that taking good care of ourselves is very important, and it is true that reduces the likelihood of the complications mentioned.
I have participated in the Joslin Medalist Study in Boston. The purpose of the study is to determine the factors that have enabled many type 1 diabetics in the US to live for 50 years, or more, and usually avoid the more serious diabetes related complications. 1000 long term type 1 diabetics have participated thus far.
In Dec, 2009, when I participated, the lady in charge of the examination given to me gave me some interesting information. She said some participants had not taken good care of themselves, but are healthy and complication free. Others have done their very best to have good control, but do have complications. These smaller groups of diabetics are the exceptions to the rule. The great majority of the participants, like me, have worked hard to have good control, and do not have any serious complications. So Riva's statements are not always valid, but they are valid for most of the type 1 diabetics in the US today.
What are your thoughts?

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